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Heredia Courses – 2021 Spring

Studying abroad can be a more meaningful and invigorating learning experience than at home—both inside and outside of the classroom. You may be more curious and alert than you usually are so use this heightened energy to enhance your studies as well as your cultural and geographical explorations. You may also encounter different teaching styles and course processes; be prepared to adapt and to learn.

Academics

You will enroll in 12 to 18 credits per semester comprised of language courses plus electives in environmental and Latin America studies. All students must complete a minimum of 1 language course, although we strongly encourage students to complete an entire language track. Course availability is contingent upon student enrollment and is subject to change.

Spanish Language Tracks

USAC offers intensive language courses grouped into tracks in which courses are taught sequentially (back to back) within one semester. If you have already taken the first course in a track, you do not have to take it again for credit, but you must audit it to be prepared for success at the next level. Language courses are small and typically have a maximum enrollment of 15 students each.

Track I (14 credits total)—Prerequisite: none

  • Fall
    Spanish100-level4 creditsTaught in Spanish
    Spring
    Spanish100-level4 creditsTaught in Spanish

    Elementary Spanish I is a four-credit language course offered to students who are enrolled in USAC and have not taken any Spanish courses at college-level before. This course is designed to help non-native speakers of Spanish to acquire basic communicative competence by providing the opportunities to develop the basic skills of a language: listening, speaking, interacting, reading and writing. The main emphasis of this course is on communication and, therefore, class attendance is essential.

    Español Inicial I es un curso de lengua de cuatro créditos para alumnos que están matriculados en USAC y no hayan realizado nunca cursos de español a nivel universitario. Está diseñado para ayudar a los alumnos de español como lengua extranjera a adquirir una competencia comunicativa básica, ofreciendo oportunidades para desarrollar las habilidades básicas de la lengua: oír, hablar, interactuar, leer y escribir. El énfasis principal de este curso está en la comunicación y por lo tanto, la asistencia a clase es esencial.

  • Fall
    Spanish100-level4 creditsTaught in Spanish
    Spring
    Spanish100-level4 creditsTaught in Spanish

    Elementary Spanish II is a four-credit language course offered to students who are enrolled in USAC and have taken one course of Spanish at college-level or its equivalent before. This course is designed to help non-native speakers of Spanish to acquire basic communicative competence. It provides opportunities for the development of the basic skills of a language: listening, speaking, interacting, reading and writing. The main emphasis of this course is on communication and, therefore, class attendance is essential.

    El curso de Español Elemental II de cuatro créditos está dirigido a alumnos que se matriculen en USAC y que hayan completado un curso de español en la universidad o su equivalente. Está diseñado para ayudar a los hablantes no nativos de español a desarrollar su competencia comunicativa. Ofrece oportunidades para desarrollar las habilidades básicas de la lengua: escuchar, hablar, interactuar, leer y escribir. El énfasis principial de este curso es la comunicación, por lo que la asistencia a clase es esencial.

    Prerequisite: one semester of college Spanish

  • Fall
    Spanish200-level3 creditsTaught in Spanish
    Spring
    Spanish200-level3 creditsTaught in Spanish

    Español Intermedio I es un curso de tres créditos dirigido a alumnos que hayan completado un año de español en la universidad o cursos equivalentes. En este curso los alumnos aprenderán a narrar en los principales marcos temporales, así como a reconocer los usos del subjuntivo para la expresión de diferentes grados de certeza, de deseos y de consejos.

    Intermediate Spanish I is a three-credit course offered to students who have completed a year of college Spanish or its equivalent. In this course, the students will learn to narrate in the main time-frames, as well as to recognize the different uses of the subjunctive mood in the expression of different degrees of certainty, of wishes and of advices.

    Prerequisite: two semesters of college Spanish

  • Fall
    Spanish200-level3 creditsTaught in Spanish
    Spring
    Spanish200-level3 creditsTaught in Spanish

    Intermedio II es un curso diseñado para alumnos que hayan completado un año y medio de español en la universidad o cursos equivalentes y quieran aprender a utilizar la lengua con mayor complejidad sintáctica y corrección gramatical que en cursos anteriores, haciendo especial énfasis en el cambio de marcos temporales y en la expresión de hipótesis y de diferentes grados de certeza.

    Intermediate II is a course designed for students who have completed a year and a half of college Spanish or its equivalent and want to learn how to use the language with increasing syntactic complexity and grammatical accuracy, paying special attention to the change of time-frames, as well as the expression of hypothesis and different degrees of certainty.

    Prerequisite: three semesters of college Spanish

Track II (12 credits total)—Prerequisite: two semesters of college Spanish

  • Fall
    Spanish200-level3 creditsTaught in Spanish
    Spring
    Spanish200-level3 creditsTaught in Spanish

    Español Intermedio I es un curso de tres créditos dirigido a alumnos que hayan completado un año de español en la universidad o cursos equivalentes. En este curso los alumnos aprenderán a narrar en los principales marcos temporales, así como a reconocer los usos del subjuntivo para la expresión de diferentes grados de certeza, de deseos y de consejos.

    Intermediate Spanish I is a three-credit course offered to students who have completed a year of college Spanish or its equivalent. In this course, the students will learn to narrate in the main time-frames, as well as to recognize the different uses of the subjunctive mood in the expression of different degrees of certainty, of wishes and of advices.

    Prerequisite: two semesters of college Spanish

  • Fall
    Spanish200-level3 creditsTaught in Spanish
    Spring
    Spanish200-level3 creditsTaught in Spanish

    Intermedio II es un curso diseñado para alumnos que hayan completado un año y medio de español en la universidad o cursos equivalentes y quieran aprender a utilizar la lengua con mayor complejidad sintáctica y corrección gramatical que en cursos anteriores, haciendo especial énfasis en el cambio de marcos temporales y en la expresión de hipótesis y de diferentes grados de certeza.

    Intermediate II is a course designed for students who have completed a year and a half of college Spanish or its equivalent and want to learn how to use the language with increasing syntactic complexity and grammatical accuracy, paying special attention to the change of time-frames, as well as the expression of hypothesis and different degrees of certainty.

    Prerequisite: three semesters of college Spanish

  • Fall
    Spanish300-level3 creditsTaught in Spanish
    Spring
    Spanish300-level3 creditsTaught in Spanish

    Este es un curso de tercer año de español para alumnos que ya han completado dos años de español en la universidad o su equivalente. El peso del curso recae en mejorar las habilidades escritas de los alumnos, con el análisis primero y la producción después, de diferentes tipos de textos. Asimismo, se revisarán una serie de puntos gramaticales con objeto de ir ampliando y afinando la competencia gramatical de los alumnos. La lectura extensiva de una novela corta acompañará y hará de refuerzo de la instrucción recibida.

    This is a third year couse for students who have completed two years of Spanish at the college level or their equivalent. Emphasis is placed in improving the students´ writing abilities with the analysis first, and the subsequent production of different types of texts. In addition, a number of grammatical topics are reviewed in order to enhance and improve learners´ grammatical competence. The extensive reading of a short novel will accompany and strengthen the formal instruction.

    Prerequisite: four semesters of college Spanish

  • Fall
    Spanish300-level3 creditsTaught in Spanish
    Spring
    Spanish300-level3 creditsTaught in Spanish

    Composition II is a third year course for students who have completed five semesters of Spanish at the college level or their equivalent. Emphasis is placed in improving the students´ writing abilities with the analysis first, and the subsequent production of different types of texts. In addition, a number of grammatical topics are reviewed in order to enhance and improve learners´ grammatical competence. The extensive reading of short stories will accompany and strengthen the formal instruction.

    Prerequisite: five semesters of college Spanish

Track III (9 credits total)—Prerequisite: four semesters of college Spanish

  • Fall
    Spanish300-level3 creditsTaught in Spanish
    Spring
    Spanish300-level3 creditsTaught in Spanish

    Este es un curso de tercer año de español para alumnos que ya han completado dos años de español en la universidad o su equivalente. El peso del curso recae en mejorar las habilidades escritas de los alumnos, con el análisis primero y la producción después, de diferentes tipos de textos. Asimismo, se revisarán una serie de puntos gramaticales con objeto de ir ampliando y afinando la competencia gramatical de los alumnos. La lectura extensiva de una novela corta acompañará y hará de refuerzo de la instrucción recibida.

    This is a third year couse for students who have completed two years of Spanish at the college level or their equivalent. Emphasis is placed in improving the students´ writing abilities with the analysis first, and the subsequent production of different types of texts. In addition, a number of grammatical topics are reviewed in order to enhance and improve learners´ grammatical competence. The extensive reading of a short novel will accompany and strengthen the formal instruction.

    Prerequisite: four semesters of college Spanish

  • Fall
    Spanish300-level3 creditsTaught in Spanish
    Spring
    Spanish300-level3 creditsTaught in Spanish

    Composition II is a third year course for students who have completed five semesters of Spanish at the college level or their equivalent. Emphasis is placed in improving the students´ writing abilities with the analysis first, and the subsequent production of different types of texts. In addition, a number of grammatical topics are reviewed in order to enhance and improve learners´ grammatical competence. The extensive reading of short stories will accompany and strengthen the formal instruction.

    Prerequisite: five semesters of college Spanish

  • Fall
    Spanish400-level3 creditsTaught in Spanish
    Spring
    Spanish400-level3 creditsTaught in Spanish

    Este curso de español de nivel avanzado ha sido diseñado para alumnos que ya hayan completado tres años de español y, aunque no presenten problemas de comunicación para realizar tareas cotidianas, precisen perfeccionar su control sobre los diferentes registros del español oral y escrito. Asimismo, este curso ofrece a los alumnos a la oportunidad de ampliar su vocabulario en ámbitos más específicos y técnicos y de mejorar la precisión gramatical en su producción tanto oral como escrita.

    This advanced level course of Spanish has been designed for students who have completed three years of Spanish and although they may manage in completing daily tasks and interactions, they still need to improve their control over different oral and written registers. In addition, this course offers the students the opportunity to enhance their vocabulary in specific and technical areas, and to improve their grammatical accuracy in oral and written production.

    Prerequisite: six semesters of college Spanish

Track IV (6 credits total)—Prerequisite: six semesters of college Spanish

  • Fall
    Spanish400-level3 creditsTaught in Spanish
    Spring
    Spanish400-level3 creditsTaught in Spanish

    Este curso de español de nivel avanzado ha sido diseñado para alumnos que ya hayan completado tres años de español y, aunque no presenten problemas de comunicación para realizar tareas cotidianas, precisen perfeccionar su control sobre los diferentes registros del español oral y escrito. Asimismo, este curso ofrece a los alumnos a la oportunidad de ampliar su vocabulario en ámbitos más específicos y técnicos y de mejorar la precisión gramatical en su producción tanto oral como escrita.

    This advanced level course of Spanish has been designed for students who have completed three years of Spanish and although they may manage in completing daily tasks and interactions, they still need to improve their control over different oral and written registers. In addition, this course offers the students the opportunity to enhance their vocabulary in specific and technical areas, and to improve their grammatical accuracy in oral and written production.

    Prerequisite: six semesters of college Spanish

  • Fall
    Spanish400-level3 creditsTaught in Spanish
    Spring
    Spanish400-level3 creditsTaught in Spanish

    El curso Español Avanzado II (SPN 411) ha sido diseñado para alumnos que ya hayan completado más de tres años de español y, aunque no presenten problemas de comunicación para realizar tareas cotidianas, precisen perfeccionar su control sobre los diferentes registros del español oral y escrito. Asimismo, este curso le ofrece al alumno la oportunidad de mejorar la coherencia y cohesión de su producción tanto oral como escrita y su corrección gramatical.

    Advanced Spanish II (SPN 411) has been designed for students who have completed more than three years of Spanish and although they may manage in daily tasks and interactions, they still need to improve their control over different oral and written registers. In addition, this course will offer them the opportunity to enhance the coherence and cohesion of their production, and to improve their grammatical accuracy.

    Prerequisite: seven semesters of college Spanish

Fall Semester

Language and Literature Electives

Taught in Spanish

  • Fall
    Spanish400-level3 creditsTaught in Spanish
    Spring
    Spanish400-level3 creditsTaught in Spanish

    This course is designed as a writing workshop for students with an advanced-superior level of Spanish. Its final goal is that the student develops personal and effective writing strategies. The composing process is broken down into different stages: an analysis of the communicative situation, brain storming, idea organization, composing, proofreading, editing and evaluating.

    Prerequisite: six semesters of college Spanish

  • Fall
    Spanish300-level3 creditsTaught in Spanish

    Optional three-credit course that is designed for students who would like to broaden their knowledge of Spanish in health care situations. The course merges grammar and specialized medical terminology needed to communicate with Spanish-speaking patients in a variety of simulated medical situations, which doctors, technicians, nurses, and EMTs, among others, may experience. Students will gain a vast knowledge of medical Spanish terminology, cultural aspects of medicine, and a confidence in using Spanish both spoken and written.

    Prerequisite: four semesters of college Spanish

  • Fall
    Spanish300-level3 creditsTaught in Spanish
    Spring
    Spanish300-level3 creditsTaught in Spanish

    Optional three-credit course that complements the development of linguistic competences facilitated at the two/three-hundred level courses, focusing in the oral skills in particular.

    This course is taught at the beginner and intermediate levels.

    Beginner Prerequisite: two semesters of college Spanish

    Intermediate Prerequisite: four semesters of college Spanish

  • Fall
    Spanish300-level3 creditsTaught in Spanish

    This course includes an overview of some of the leading Spanish-American literary works written from pre-Columbian times to the late nineteenth century. Among these works are: native American voices, the chronicles of the conquest, colonial literature, literature of the enlightenment and romanticism.

    During the course, we will make a brief study of these works and their authors: Mayas, Aztecas, Incas, Cristóbal Colón, Las Casas, El Inca Gracilaso, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, José Fernández de Lizardi, Esteban Echeverría y Ricardo Palma. We also take a look at the historical context in which the various works were developed. This study is carried out through reading comprehension, analysis, discussion and investigation of different literary texts, poems and short stories of Latin American literature before the twentieth century.

    Este curso comprende una visión panorámica de algunas de las principales obras literarias hispanoamericanas escritas desde la época precolombina hasta finales del siglo XIX. Entre estas obras tenemos: Voces amerindias, Las crónicas de la conquista, Literatura colonial, Literatura de la Ilustración y el Romanticismo

    Durante el curso realizaremos un estudio somero de estas obras y de sus respectivos autores: Mayas, Aztecas, Incas, Cristóbal Colón, Las Casas, El Inca Gracilaso, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, José Fernández de Lizardi, Esteban Echeverría y Ricardo Palma. También echamos un vistazo al contexto historico en el cual las diferentes obras se desarrollaron. Dicho estudio se lleva a cabo a través de la comprensión de lectura, el análisis, la discusión y la investigación de diferentes textos literarios, poemas y cuentos de la literatura hispanoamericana anterior al siglo XX.

    Prerequisite: four semesters of college Spanish

  • Fall
    SpanishTheater400-level3 creditsTaught in Spanish

    The course offers to students a general understanding of the historical development of theater in Latin America in the twentieth century, and its trends today.

    Also reading will focus on dramatic texts as well as to examine their contribution to theatrical activity as part of the processes of Latin American cultural history. Emphasis will be placed in a series of theoretical and historical parameters that will guide the analysis of the works.

    El curso busca proporcionar a los estudiantes un conocimiento general del desarrollo histórico del teatro en América Latina en el siglo XX, así como sus tendencias en la actualidad.

    Además se centrará en la lectura de textos dramáticos y se examinará su aporte a la actividad teatral como parte de los procesos de la cultura histórica latinoamericana. Se hará especial hincapié en una serie de parámetros teóricos e históricos que servirán para orientar el análisis de las obras.

    Prerequisite: four semesters of college Spanish

Latin American and Ecological Studies

Courses are taught in English unless noted in Spanish; courses taught in Spanish are for students in Track III or above unless otherwise indicated.

  • Fall
    Geography300-level3 creditsTaught in English
    Spring
    Geography300-level3 creditsTaught in English

    This course aims to analyze fundamental aspects of climate dynamics, global warming, and their impacts on societies across the globe. As heavy rainfall in the tropics dictates how landscapes are formed and shaped, Global Warming is changing the building blocks of our societies. This class combines scientific evidence and social perspectives to analyze how people is mitigating and adapting to global changes, for example: climate-induced migrations, changes in agricultural practices, clean energy production, and social media networking and information.

    Classes will combine 3-hour lectures (once a week). Lessons will generally include an introduction to fundamental climate concepts followed by group discussion of climate change impacts and mitigation/adaptation challenges around the globe.

  • Fall
    Dance100-level1 creditTaught in Spanish
    Spring
    Dance100-level1 creditTaught in Spanish

    The Latin American Dances class is addressed to those students who enjoy dancing and want to learn how to relate traditional Latin American dances like “Cha chachá”, “Son”, “Bolero” “Merengue”, “Salsa”, “Guaracha”, “Cumbia” and so on. At the same time, the students have the chance to practice Spanish and become more acquainted with the Latin American culture.

    Taught in Spanish but appropriate for all

  • Fall
    Political Science400-level3 creditsTaught in English
    Fall
    Political Science600-level3 creditsTaught in English

    This course presents a comparative analysis of the local, national, and international dynamics of Latin American politics during the twentieth century and the first decades of the twenty-first century.

    Although the focus of the course is the contemporary political processes of the region, an overview of colonial and post-independence history is provided in order to understand the historical evolution of these societies.

    Special emphasis is given to recent developments such as the effects of the Cold War and the influence of US foreign policy in the region. Issues of (under-)development, migrations, political violence, human and civil rights are also studied, as well as recent theoretical and societal trends such as governance, minority movements, neoliberalism, and the challenges of “Presidentialism.”

    Prerequisite: one semester of college-level political science

  • Fall
    Biology200-level3 creditsTaught in English

    This course provides students the foundational knowledge for understanding the biological, chemical, and physical characteristics of tropical environments with emphasis on ecological processes. Students will spend time in the field and complete a case study as a part of this course. The purpose of each activity is to encourage young adults to become environmentally conscious and promote the maintenance of fragile ecosystems around the world.

    Taught in English.

  • Fall
    AnthropologyHistorySpanish200-level3 creditsTaught in English
    Fall
    AnthropologyHistorySpanish300-level3 creditsTaught in Spanish
    Spring
    AnthropologyHistorySpanish200-level3 creditsTaught in English
    Spring
    AnthropologyHistorySpanish300-level3 creditsTaught in Spanish

    200-level course:

    This course provides an overview of those cultural patterns that define what we call “Latin American Civilization”. The different Latin American regions will be analyzed giving special emphasis to the Costa Rican culture. The course provides an introduction to these cultures, first from a historical point of view and then from a more contemporary perspective. Particular emphasis will be given to present day Costa Rica’s way of life, education, gender, traditions, religion and other cultural manifestations.

    300-level course:

    This course covers the history of cultures in the Americas from pre-Columbian societies to our contemporary nations. In order to get an overview about their history, we have considered developing the course through five thematic units: Pre-Columbian America,

    Conquest and Colonization of the XVI - XVII and XVII Centuries, From the Colony to the Republic, The transformations of the global economy, during the X-XI-XII centuries, Politics and Society in Latin America during the centuries XIII-XIV-XV

    Este curso comprende la historia de las culturas del continente americano, desde las sociedades precolombinas hasta nuestras naciones contemporáneas. Con el propósito de lograr una visión de conjunto del devenir histórico de ellas, hemos considerado desarrollar el curso a través de cinco unidades temáticas: América Precolombina, Conquista y Colonización de los siglos XVI – XVII y XVIII, De colonias a Repúblicas, Las transformaciones de la economía mundial en los siglos X-XI-XII, Política y Sociedad en América Latina en los siglos XIII-XIV-XV.

    Prerequisite: four semesters of college Spanish

  • Fall
    Nutrition200-level1 creditTaught in English/Spanish
    Spring
    Nutrition200-level1 creditTaught in English/Spanish

    An introduction to a local cuisine in a hands-on kitchen environment. Authentic preparations of several local dishes will be taught. Correct cooking techniques are emphasized. Readings and lectures on local food customs and traditions will support and contextualize the cooking instruction. Students will learn about Latin American culture, and practice conversing and following instructions in the Spanish language.

    Dietary restrictions may not be accommodated.

    Taught in English and Spanish, but appropriate for all

    This course has an additional fee for materials.

  • Fall
    Biology200-level3 creditsTaught in English

    Plants and people have a long history of coexistence and have intertwined roles and consequences throughout the progression of life. Students will evaluate, analyze, and explain the human way of life developed over centuries of adaptation. The focus will be on the production and consumption of plants in Costa Rica.

  • Fall
    Art200-level3 creditsTaught in Spanish

    It is intended that the students know and understand the variety of the cultural history of human occupation before the first American contact with Europeans. To do this, we will study topics such as the antiquity of man in America and the artistic and intellectual achievements.

    Prerequisite: four semesters of college Spanish

  • Fall
    BiologyGeography300-level3 creditsTaught in English
    Spring
    BiologyGeography300-level3 creditsTaught in English

    This course aims to analyze fundamental aspects of the water cycle from a tropical perspective. Tropical landscapes are complex so is water movement across them. The unique topographic features of Costa Rica from high ‘Cordilleras’ on the Pacific side to extensive Caribbean lowlands provide a natural laboratory to study hydrological processes. This class will combine classroom sessions with exploratory field visits providing as well a unique hands-on cultural learning experience.

  • Fall
    SpanishWomen's Studies / Gender Studies400-level3 creditsTaught in Spanish
    Spring
    SpanishWomen's Studies / Gender Studies400-level3 creditsTaught in Spanish

    This course taught in Spanish is designed for students who would like to broaden their knowledge of writings by Latin American (from Colonial times until present) women. The course explores how these writers were shaped by their social and cultural surroundings as well as how their writing redefined or are still shaping their cultural and social worlds. The course is primarily centered around women’s literary productions (prose and poetry), but it is not solely about women, since it is imperative to understand "womanhood" as a relational category. Thus, we will explore how gender ideologies affected the meaning and experiences of "manhood" as well as "womanhood." The aim of the course is to compare and contrast the experiences of different groups of women according to factors such as historical period, race, and class. The course analyzes the meaning of gender and how it has motivated women to become writers. Students must prepare for class every week and read carefully. Class debate will be centered ion on discussions of issues, questions, relationships, concepts, and approaches, not in a mere presentation of facts. We will use a wide range of primary and secondary sources in order to gain a greater understanding of the complexities of gender in Latin America.

    Prerequisite: four semesters of college Spanish

Spring Semester

Language and Literature Electives

Taught in Spanish

  • Fall
    Spanish400-level3 creditsTaught in Spanish
    Spring
    Spanish400-level3 creditsTaught in Spanish

    This course is designed as a writing workshop for students with an advanced-superior level of Spanish. Its final goal is that the student develops personal and effective writing strategies. The composing process is broken down into different stages: an analysis of the communicative situation, brain storming, idea organization, composing, proofreading, editing and evaluating.

    Prerequisite: six semesters of college Spanish

  • Spring
    Spanish300-level3 creditsTaught in Spanish

    The use of Spanish in a business environment involves using variables as language develops in specific contexts. Thus, the dynamics in this course will enrich vocabulary within specific semantic fields related to business methods and therefore will be essential to student's immersion in public spaces in commercial transactions.

    El uso del español en un ámbito comercial involucra variables de uso en tanto se desarrolla el lenguaje en contextos específicos. Así, la dinámica en este curso pretende enriquecer el léxico dentro de campos semánticos específicos relacionados con modos comerciales y por esta razón será fundamental la inmersión del estudiante en espacios públicos de transacciones comerciales.

    Prerequisite: four semesters of college Spanish

  • Fall
    Spanish300-level3 creditsTaught in Spanish
    Spring
    Spanish300-level3 creditsTaught in Spanish

    Optional three-credit course that complements the development of linguistic competences facilitated at the two/three-hundred level courses, focusing in the oral skills in particular.

    This course is taught at the beginner and intermediate levels.

    Beginner Prerequisite: two semesters of college Spanish

    Intermediate Prerequisite: four semesters of college Spanish

  • Spring
    Spanish300-level3 creditsTaught in Spanish

    Systematic revision of the most important authors of the 20th century starting from the period of the Latin American Vanguard (20´s). The texts selected point towards showing the aesthetic tendencies as well as formal and ideological components that characterize each of the works produced by the following authors: Vicente Huidobro, Alejo Carpentier, Jorge Luis Borges, Gabriel García Marquez, Gabriela Mistral, Juan Rulfo, Julio Cortázar, Pablo Neruda and Vargas Llosa among others. Prerequisite: four semesters of college Spanish. Taught in Spanish.

    Prerequisite: four semesters of college Spanish

  • Spring
    ArtFilmSpanish400-level3 creditsTaught in Spanish

    The course offers a critical historical review of cinema in Latin America. Students will evaluate the development of Latin American society, identify its colonial heritage, and explain how it influenced modern society.

    Prerequisite: six semesters of college Spanish

  • Spring
    Spanish400-level3 creditsTaught in Spanish

    This is an overview of some key Hispanic literary works written in the late nineteenth and twentieth century. Novel, as a complex genre, requires the assimilation of basic concepts of literary theory and its role in society. Later on, we will have critical analysis of samples of the Latin American novel of the Twentieth Century that develop several conflicts in the following dynamics: economic, social, political, gender, among others.

    Prerequisite: six semesters of college Spanish

Latin American and Ecological Studies

Courses are taught in English unless noted in Spanish; courses taught in Spanish are for students in Track III or above unless otherwise indicated.

  • Fall
    Geography300-level3 creditsTaught in English
    Spring
    Geography300-level3 creditsTaught in English

    This course aims to analyze fundamental aspects of climate dynamics, global warming, and their impacts on societies across the globe. As heavy rainfall in the tropics dictates how landscapes are formed and shaped, Global Warming is changing the building blocks of our societies. This class combines scientific evidence and social perspectives to analyze how people is mitigating and adapting to global changes, for example: climate-induced migrations, changes in agricultural practices, clean energy production, and social media networking and information.

    Classes will combine 3-hour lectures (once a week). Lessons will generally include an introduction to fundamental climate concepts followed by group discussion of climate change impacts and mitigation/adaptation challenges around the globe.

  • Fall
    Dance100-level1 creditTaught in Spanish
    Spring
    Dance100-level1 creditTaught in Spanish

    The Latin American Dances class is addressed to those students who enjoy dancing and want to learn how to relate traditional Latin American dances like “Cha chachá”, “Son”, “Bolero” “Merengue”, “Salsa”, “Guaracha”, “Cumbia” and so on. At the same time, the students have the chance to practice Spanish and become more acquainted with the Latin American culture.

    Taught in Spanish but appropriate for all

  • Spring
    Political Science400-level3 creditsTaught in English

    This course presents and analyzes the economic development and discussion of the political, economic, commercial and financial issues from the point of view of contemporary institutions and specific countries. Due to the interdependency created by globalization, we will study the relationships between North and South as well as West and East. We will focus on Central American and Latin American relations to US political economy in the recent past.

  • Spring
    Biology200-level3 creditsTaught in English

    This course is intended to give students a firsthand knowledge of conservation biology. It does so in the context of an intensive foreign study tour in Costa Rica.

    We will discuss definitions, values, threats, and approaches to conservation of biodiversity. Although this is a conservation biology course, we will also be examining the social, economic, and political aspects of conservation, as well our own personal roles in using and protecting biodiversity and our environment.

  • Spring
    Biology200-level1 creditTaught in English

    This field study offers the opportunity to have a hands-on experience on the challenges faced by individuals and institutions concerning the conservation of biodiversity in Costa Rica. The field study is only for students attending the Introduction to Conservation Biology Course.

    A one-day trip and an overnight trip will be programmed. A fee is charged to help pay for transportation, entrance fees, guides, lodging and some meals. The trips involve hiking, so proper outfit and disposition are required, as well attending to short lectures on conservation biology by local people involved in conservation efforts.

    We will discuss definitions, values, threats, and approaches to conservation of biodiversity. As it is inevitable for conservation biology, we will examine the social, economic, and political context in the places we visit.

    Co-requisite: Introduction to Conservation Biology.

    This course has an additional fee.

  • Spring
    Biology200-level3 creditsTaught in English

    Students will learn extensively about the world of tropical plants. The world has around 350,000 species of vascular plants and the tropics represent around two-thirds of this diversity. The course will cover the basic principles of plant classification and the appropriate terminology to identify flowering plants.

    Plants are key components of terrestrial ecosystems. They shape environments and offer resources to many organisms. Students will examine many well-known and economically important plants such as sugar cane, bananas, cocoa, coffee, Manihot and yam.

    The course will combine the capacity to identify main tropical plant groups with the knowledge about their relevance in natural environments and their importance in our daily lives as a source of an unimaginable quantity of products.

  • Spring
    Biology200-level1 creditTaught in English

    This field study is designed to provide practical experience in plant identification using the tools of classification and identification, and gaining a real world experience in plant identification. Field work will provide practice and experience in data accumulation, specimen collection and preparation, identification of major taxa, and use of identification resources. The field study is only for students attending the Introduction to Tropical Plant Biodiversity.

    A one-day trip and an overnight trip will be programmed. A fee is charged to help pay for transportation, entrance fees, guides, lodging and some meals. The trips involve hiking, so proper outfit and disposition are required.

    Co-requisite: Introduction to Tropical Plant Biodiversity.

    This course has an additional fee.

  • Fall
    AnthropologyHistorySpanish200-level3 creditsTaught in English
    Fall
    AnthropologyHistorySpanish300-level3 creditsTaught in Spanish
    Spring
    AnthropologyHistorySpanish200-level3 creditsTaught in English
    Spring
    AnthropologyHistorySpanish300-level3 creditsTaught in Spanish

    200-level course:

    This course provides an overview of those cultural patterns that define what we call “Latin American Civilization”. The different Latin American regions will be analyzed giving special emphasis to the Costa Rican culture. The course provides an introduction to these cultures, first from a historical point of view and then from a more contemporary perspective. Particular emphasis will be given to present day Costa Rica’s way of life, education, gender, traditions, religion and other cultural manifestations.

    300-level course:

    This course covers the history of cultures in the Americas from pre-Columbian societies to our contemporary nations. In order to get an overview about their history, we have considered developing the course through five thematic units: Pre-Columbian America,

    Conquest and Colonization of the XVI - XVII and XVII Centuries, From the Colony to the Republic, The transformations of the global economy, during the X-XI-XII centuries, Politics and Society in Latin America during the centuries XIII-XIV-XV

    Este curso comprende la historia de las culturas del continente americano, desde las sociedades precolombinas hasta nuestras naciones contemporáneas. Con el propósito de lograr una visión de conjunto del devenir histórico de ellas, hemos considerado desarrollar el curso a través de cinco unidades temáticas: América Precolombina, Conquista y Colonización de los siglos XVI – XVII y XVIII, De colonias a Repúblicas, Las transformaciones de la economía mundial en los siglos X-XI-XII, Política y Sociedad en América Latina en los siglos XIII-XIV-XV.

    Prerequisite: four semesters of college Spanish

  • Spring
    AnthropologyHistorySpanish200-level1 creditTaught in English

    The course aims to provide students with an in situ knowledge of socio-cultural perspective of Costa Rica in Spanish America. The "field trips" focus to visit sites of archaeological, cultural and social where students have the opportunity to interact and observe the country's cultural evolution.

    El curso busca proporcionar a los estudiantes un conocimiento in situ del desarrollo socio-cultural de Costa Rica en perspectiva hispanoamericana. Las “giras de campo” se centran a la visita de sitios de interés arqueológico, cultural y social donde el estudiante tiene la posibilidad de interactuar y observar el devenir cultural del país.

    Co-requisite: Latin America and its Cultures.

    This course has an additional fee.

  • Fall
    Nutrition200-level1 creditTaught in English/Spanish
    Spring
    Nutrition200-level1 creditTaught in English/Spanish

    An introduction to a local cuisine in a hands-on kitchen environment. Authentic preparations of several local dishes will be taught. Correct cooking techniques are emphasized. Readings and lectures on local food customs and traditions will support and contextualize the cooking instruction. Students will learn about Latin American culture, and practice conversing and following instructions in the Spanish language.

    Dietary restrictions may not be accommodated.

    Taught in English and Spanish, but appropriate for all

    This course has an additional fee for materials.

  • Spring
    ArtArt History200-level3 creditsTaught in Spanish

    This course offers an overview of the socio-political Spanish irradiation in America. Spain conquered and subdued the native American villages and drove out their cultural manifestations bringing with it a new civilization. Nevertheless, its most distinctive characteristic turned into the survival of plenty of elements and traditions of pre-Columbian cultures and the mixture of Iberian characteristics that ended up into the miscegenation.

    Prerequisite: four semesters of college Spanish

  • Fall
    BiologyGeography300-level3 creditsTaught in English
    Spring
    BiologyGeography300-level3 creditsTaught in English

    This course aims to analyze fundamental aspects of the water cycle from a tropical perspective. Tropical landscapes are complex so is water movement across them. The unique topographic features of Costa Rica from high ‘Cordilleras’ on the Pacific side to extensive Caribbean lowlands provide a natural laboratory to study hydrological processes. This class will combine classroom sessions with exploratory field visits providing as well a unique hands-on cultural learning experience.

  • Spring
    BiologyGeographyNatural Resources300-level1 creditTaught in English

    Two field trips to different places in Costa Rica in order to illustrate topics that are studied in class lectures such as tropical hydrological cycle, hydrological metrics, tropical biomes, and ecohydrology processes in a tropical landscape.

    One day field trip to Cerro Dantas Wildlife Refuge (http://www.cerrodantas.co.cr/index-en.html). This place is an excellent example of the Caribbean-type ecosystems of Costa Rica, dominated by high rainfall amounts year-round.

    Two day field trip to Tárcoles River Basin lowlands, including a visit to a Pacific-type transition rainforest, Carara National Park (http://www.sinac.go.cr/EN-US/ac/acopac/pnc/Pages/default.aspx). The idea of this field trip is to analyze the effects of land and urban management needs in tropical developing countries in order to preserve ecosystem connectivity.

    Co-requisite: Water in Tropical Landscapes.

    This course has an additional fee.

  • Fall
    SpanishWomen's Studies / Gender Studies400-level3 creditsTaught in Spanish
    Spring
    SpanishWomen's Studies / Gender Studies400-level3 creditsTaught in Spanish

    This course taught in Spanish is designed for students who would like to broaden their knowledge of writings by Latin American (from Colonial times until present) women. The course explores how these writers were shaped by their social and cultural surroundings as well as how their writing redefined or are still shaping their cultural and social worlds. The course is primarily centered around women’s literary productions (prose and poetry), but it is not solely about women, since it is imperative to understand "womanhood" as a relational category. Thus, we will explore how gender ideologies affected the meaning and experiences of "manhood" as well as "womanhood." The aim of the course is to compare and contrast the experiences of different groups of women according to factors such as historical period, race, and class. The course analyzes the meaning of gender and how it has motivated women to become writers. Students must prepare for class every week and read carefully. Class debate will be centered ion on discussions of issues, questions, relationships, concepts, and approaches, not in a mere presentation of facts. We will use a wide range of primary and secondary sources in order to gain a greater understanding of the complexities of gender in Latin America.

    Prerequisite: four semesters of college Spanish

To request a course syllabus: syllabus@usac.edu

Internships

USAC internships are rich resources for your academic and professional development. Students are placed in a Spanish-speaking environment, with high exposure to culture and language, and must be able to communicate at an advanced language level. Interns earn credits but no financial compensation. The schedule and the number of work hours will be determined by the schedule of USAC courses.

Internship opportunities fall into broad categories; previous placements have included: Spanish/English language at Universidad Nacional, a downtown Heredia hotel, a Biodiversity Park outside of Heredia, UNA’s History Museum, and in sustainable programs. Other internship sites are possible. Placement is not guaranteed by USAC, rather it will be determined by your application and supporting materials and an interview onsite with the internship sponsor.

Eligibility: enrollment in the Heredia program, a minimum GPA of 3.0, and junior standing at the time of the internship. A refundable fee of $200 is charged and returned upon successful completion of the internship.

Quick Details

2020-21 App. Cycle

Fall/Yearlong: Cancelled

Spring: Open

2021-22 App. Cycle

Summer programs: Opens 9/1

Fall/Yearlong: Opens 9/1

Spring: Opens 9/1

Eligibility

Minimum GPA: 2.5

Program Type

Specialty

Credits

US Credit

Program Capacity

65 students

Instruction

English | Spanish

Passport & Visa

Passport & Visa Information